Transcend IDE SSD with pfSense 2.1.3?



  • Hi again!

    I think about having an old notebook (IDE HDD interface) installed with pfSense as a firewall "to go" (for traveling, holiday etc.).

    I have only old, quite used IDE HDDs here, but some brand new

    Transcend 2.5" PATA SSD TS128GPSD330

    or

    Transcend 2.5" PATA SSD TS64GPSD330

    I found this and that with the search function:

    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=62648.0

    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=44955

    …but I'm not sure what it means for my planned installation. I would install pfSense and Snort, maybe later some Squid (not decided yet).

    Questions:

    Can I install pfSense to these SSDs as usually to HDD (or do I have to take care of alignment? How? Pre-format SSD (Paragon Partitionmanager 11 is available, or from an openSUSE I could format)? With which format (EXT2)?

    Would you as a pro prefer an HDD over these types of SSD for an appliance (no heavy-load, no 24/7 for years to run)?

    Would there be an alternative, such a an adapter to plug in a CF-card to the IDE adapter (stable?)

    Many thanx in advance!



  • Anybody willing to share any experience with IDE SSDs in general? Alignment issues?  ;)



  • What I did for similar purpose was to get a CF card adapter from eBay, which had a metal case just like a 2.5" drive. And installed a NanoBSD version of pfSense on a FitPC.
    I trust NanoBSD installs much more than full installs because it uses the CF card only when it boots (filesystem is then mounted read-only during running), and in addition there's a mirrored backup partition on the card which allows to boot from there if the active partition gets into trouble.



  • @chemlud:

    Anybody willing to share any experience with IDE SSDs in general? Alignment issues?  ;)

    In another small server I also had an IDE port available and found that using an IDE-to-SATA converter with a SATA SSD works better (and costs less) than an IDE SSD. Trim works too. But if you're using a laptop, an IDE-to-SATA converter may not fit into the case.



  • Thanx for your valuable experience! IDE to SATA is not an option for a notebook when traveling, at home no issue, I think…

    The adapter for IDE to CF is something to buy next time I do an electronics order, for this time I went ahead with an old IDE HDD, see how long it will work

    ...and backing up the config for faster re-install next time. Are there any problems with restoring the config of a HDD install of pfSense on a CF-card installation (assuming I do a nanoBSD install and not a regular installation from CD)?

    I read somewhere about an installation on a USB-stick, is this the same copy as for CF-card, only applied to the USB-stick?


  • Netgate Administrator

    @chemlud:

    I read somewhere about an installation on a USB-stick, is this the same copy as for CF-card, only applied to the USB-stick?

    Yes. Depending on how it connects you may have a mountroot> error on first boot but that can be fixed.

    Steve



  • @chemlud:

    I read somewhere about an installation on a USB-stick, is this the same copy as for CF-card, only applied to the USB-stick?

    Yes, it is similar (using PhysdiskWrite or Win32 Disk Imager for windows).

    You might need to manually clear the locked partitions on the thumbdrive (some of them have password protected storage feature) using diskpart.

    Some work needs to be done on the first boot to ensure that the USB stick mounts properly.

    I've previously posted how to do it here:
    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=28707.0

    The newer versions of pfSense have a menu option to temporarily boot from the USB stick but you will still need to edit the loader.conf (or loader.conf.local) file to make sure it retains the setting on reboots.



  • @stephenw10:

    @chemlud:

    I read somewhere about an installation on a USB-stick, is this the same copy as for CF-card, only applied to the USB-stick?

    Yes. Depending on how it connects you may have a mountroot> error on first boot but that can be fixed.

    Steve

    OK, here we go, "Manual root filesystem specification" is required on first boot, but "?" gives only "acd0", which is the CD drive, or?

    "Loader variables:
    vfs.root.mountfrom=ufs:/dev/ufs/pfsense0
    vfs.root.mountfrom.options=ro,sync,noatime"

    is the rest of the output…

    Could you please provide me with the right mount command, pleaaaase? :-)


  • Netgate Administrator

    You often have to add the kern.cam.boot_delay, that Dreamslacker linked to above, when booting from USB. Without it the USB devices are not initialised in time to mount root.

    Steve



  • Uups, didn't see the high-quality post! Runs like a charm!  :D



  • Boot works fine, but when I copy slice 1 to slice 2 I get an error (consol) that slice 2 has different size than slice 1 (measured in h and min, no joke…),I copied the 4GB image for embedded with VGA to an 8 GB USB stick...

    Will this have any influence on functionality ?


  • Netgate Administrator

    Hmm, I've never seen that. It's hard to see how it could be a different size.  :-
    If it won't copy the image from the 1st slice to the second there's a chance it might also refuse to copy an update image there also. You might have problems at the next firmware update. Or not.  ;)

    Steve



  • I've used a IDE SSD with windows, not with pfsense. Cant say I was impressed at all, windows seemed to freeze, sometimes it was slower than with a decent spinning disk.

    I would't buy one specially for the task but if you have one already why not.



  • @Roots0:

    I've used a IDE SSD with windows, not with pfsense. Cant say I was impressed at all, windows seemed to freeze, sometimes it was slower than with a decent spinning disk.

    I would't buy one specially for the task but if you have one already why not.

    Had Win XP with wrong alignment on an SSD, same symptoms ;-) Resolved with correct alignment…

    @stephenw10:

    Hmm, I've never seen that. It's hard to see how it could be a different size.  :-
    If it won't copy the image from the 1st slice to the second there's a chance it might also refuse to copy an update image there also. You might have problems at the next firmware update. Or not.  ;)

    Steve

    I always have the strange errors, don't really know why…  :-\ As the USB is only the backup for the (11 year old  ;D ) HDD, I will wait 'n see what happenz, when 2.1.4 is released (after holiday, hopefully...) ::)



  • @chemlud:

    Boot works fine, but when I copy slice 1 to slice 2 I get an error (consol) that slice 2 has different size than slice 1 (measured in h and min, no joke…),I copied the 4GB image for embedded with VGA to an 8 GB USB stick...

    Will this have any influence on functionality ?

    The only change in functionality is that you cannot switch slices (i.e. Slice 1 is corrupted or configuration issues).

    It seems rather odd that you have such an error.  Have you tried rebooting and attempting to copy the slice over again?



  • @Roots0:

    I've used a IDE SSD with windows, not with pfsense. Cant say I was impressed at all, windows seemed to freeze, sometimes it was slower than with a decent spinning disk.

    I would't buy one specially for the task but if you have one already why not.

    Most IDE SSDs use the older controllers which aren't quite as good.  If you've got one that used the older Jmicron controller, the stuttering problem is a known issue due to the buffer filling up and the algorithms don't handle it well.



  • …for me the IDE SSDs are simply the only option, to keep some older notebooks up and running with no supply for IDE HDDs (bought a new one from Amazon seller, after 4 weeks it was completely broken within half a day...).

    I love my older hardware, have one Dell Precision here up and running for more than 10 years now, don't want to throw it away simply because Microsoft and the HDD companies want to force me to.



  • @dreamslacker:

    @Roots0:

    I've used a IDE SSD with windows, not with pfsense. Cant say I was impressed at all, windows seemed to freeze, sometimes it was slower than with a decent spinning disk.

    I would't buy one specially for the task but if you have one already why not.

    Most IDE SSDs use the older controllers which aren't quite as good.  If you've got one that used the older Jmicron controller, the stuttering problem is a known issue due to the buffer filling up and the algorithms don't handle it well.

    Yeah I figured it was something like controller problems probably compounded by the lack of ATA features.


  • Netgate Administrator

    @chemlud:

    I love my older hardware, have one Dell Precision here up and running for more than 10 years now, don't want to throw it away simply because Microsoft and the HDD companies want to force me to.

    I hear you. I hate throwing away a perfectly good bit of hardware. Unfortunately the world of IT progresses at such a rate that stuff is obsolete in next to no time.  Hence the small mountain of laptops I have sitting next to me.  ::)
    Switch to an OS that designed to run on older hardware. There are plenty of Linux flavours that run almost entirely from RAM and have a small footprint.

    Steve



  • That's exactly what I did since last fall, we have now 6-7 Linux/dual-boot systems around here. Found some old hardware (TV-cards, printers etc.) doing fine with Linux, although no Windows drivers around for YEARS).  8) And that was the point when I started to think about alternative router software (was always wanting to put something hacked on those fu***ing Cisco small business boxes, without success…).

    I don't do rocket science (most of the time) with my computers so I don't really "understand" (am willing to accept), why a 10 year old computer should not be able to run an office solution (and some related things), browser, thunderbird at a sufficient performance. To me it is simple fraud that the hardware requirements for normal users are increased to the performance levels of supercomputers some years ago. :-\


  • Netgate Administrator

    Somewhat off topic but it's your thread.  :)
    I wouldn't go as far as fraud, more like laziness. Hardware gets faster and faster with more and more resources available so  software can take shortcuts and use inefficient code without  haveing much effect on performance. There is also a bit of 'must have new shiny features' so programmers are always adding stuff, much of which may not be necessary. What did Windows Vista do better that required so much more computng power than XP or 2K for that matter? I could back up a complete Win 2K install including Office onto a single CD (at around 50% compression) but Win7 is >15GB before I've added anything! Ok so Win7 has more functionality than 2K but is it equivalent to 10 Win2Ks?
    An interesting counterpoint to this are consoles. There the hardware is fixed for an extended period so prgrammers have to get creative and increasingly efficient to produce better games. And they do, look at games initially released for a console and comparee those with the last released and they are worlds apart.
    End of rant!  ::)

    Steve



  • @chemlud:

    I love my older hardware, have one Dell Precision here up and running for more than 10 years now, don't want to throw it away simply because Microsoft and the HDD companies want to force me to.

    I still have my Little Valley 2 (D201GLY) that was running my pf rig since '07.  It's functioning just fine but I can no longer justify running it considering the efficiency (and costs) of new systems.
    The Haswell Pentium and Mini-ITX board set me back barely more than what the Little Valley 2 costs but is much more powerful whilst consuming less power on average.  At this point, I'm half-hearted about ditching the unit entirely since I can't even give it away (even Linux has issues due to the onboard SiS Mirage Gfx).



  • @stephenw10:

    Somewhat off topic but it's your thread.  :)

    As IDE SSD is apparently a total NON-issue, why not going a little off-topic… holiday is in sight anyways... ::)

    @dreamslacker:


    The Haswell Pentium and Mini-ITX board set me back barely more than what the Little Valley 2 costs but is much more powerful whilst consuming less power on average.  ...

    Good point, but I don't buy it! Have you ever considered the energy costs of producing and transporting the new device? Where is the break-even for simply letting the older, inefficient system run (till it breaks)?

    The energy argument is not really on the PRO side of the list for buying new hardware (if you really need to rationalize the "shopping makes me happy" thing we all know…)  ;)



  • @chemlud:

    Good point, but I don't buy it! Have you ever considered the energy costs of producing and transporting the new device? Where is the break-even for simply letting the older, inefficient system run (till it breaks)?

    The energy argument is not really on the PRO side of the list for buying new hardware (if you really need to rationalize the "shopping makes me happy" thing we all know…)  ;)

    The D201GLY2 minimally takes up 40Watts at the wall at idle and with my 150/ 75M Fibre (slated to go to 1000/ 500 later in the year) along with VPN, I needed something with more performance at any going rate.

    I don't really consider the carbon footprint actually, it's just power bills saving in the long run as well as simply having less heat dumped into the room.



  • …depending on the climate zone you're living in (and if you're heating up the house with electricity anyway  ;) ) the electricity bill is not really a good argument, but performance is in any case  ;D



  • @chemlud:

    …depending on the climate zone you're living in (and if you're heating up the house with electricity anyway  ;) ) the electricity bill is not really a good argument, but performance is in any case  ;D

    In the Equatorial belt.  There are no seasons here and the temperatures in a room during a hot day can hit 42'C (~107F) easily.  27'C (~80F) is considered a really cool night.



  • My deepest condolences! I couldn't survive something like that for longer than 1 week… ;)


  • Netgate Administrator

    Ha! Feeling the heat today here in Austin, way hotter than London (where I usually am).  ;)

    Steve



  • @chemlud:

    My deepest condolences! I couldn't survive something like that for longer than 1 week… ;)

    Rather thankful for this wonderful invention called air conditioning.  ;)

    Nevertheless, the Haswell setups are incredible at efficiency.  An i5 with a 3.5" HDD & a SSD takes up about 40W at idle to low loads even without a high efficiency DC PSU.


Log in to reply